All posts tagged: Deborah Parker Wong
Deconstructing Aged Amarone
For Lonardi, the drying process known as appassimento that’s used to make Amarone produces wines that are expressive of terroir. Researchers studying
the compounds found in Corvina—the indigenous grape that is the foundation of the wine’s blend—agree. Typical markers for Corvina include balsamic and tobacco notes that increase during appassimento, and the presence of these markers in aged wines points to specific vintage conditions.
Renaissance for Chile’s Itata Valley
Wine culture in Itata Valley, the northernmost of Chile’s three southern wine regions, exemplifies what is known as “evolution in isolation.” Experiencing no phylloxera and only a modest incursion of international grape varieties, this isolated region has held on to its heritage grapes and ancestral winemaking practices seldom found beyond its borders.
Five Decades for the Class of ’72
Of the California wineries celebrating their 50th birth year in 2022, six gathered to mark the occasion with a retrospective tasting at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. Each dazzled us with three wines while reflecting on five decades of harvests and providing a snapshot of their current vintages.
In an effort to expand my perception beyond my daily work with beverage alcohol, I tackle the evaluation of chocolate and fragrance a few times each year by judging hundreds of products as part of an unpaid panel.
Flavor-tripping with the miracle fruit
As a species, we’ve been eating and drinking to intentionally alter our states of perception ever since. For generations, the indigenous peoples of the Congo, Nigeria, and Ghana have used the fruit (and leaves) of Synsepalum dulcificum, a shrub indigenous to West
and Central Africa, in ethnomedicine. The taste-altering properties of this flavorless, bright-red berry—dubbed “the miracle fruit,” it’s about the size of a coffee bean—make for a fascinating sensory experience.
Learning to Perceive
While perceptual learning plays an important role in evaluating wine, there’s another phenomenon related to perception that arises from the wine itself: perceptual interaction. When our olfactory system
is confronted with complex aromas, we often perceive them as a single aroma due to odor blending in a process known as
configural perception (our perception of the smell of coffee as a single aroma is just one of many examples).
Age drives complexity in sparkling wine
After tasting the Piper-Heidsieck Hors-Série 1971 ($499), a rare, late disgorged Champagne that spent 49 years resting peacefully on its lees, I was inspired to delve deeper into the role yeast autolysis plays in the flavor development of sparkling wine.
The duality of-smell phenomenon
Our sense of smell is based on two delivery pathways, orthonasal and retronasal; that makes it the only “dual sense modality” we possess, one that provides information about things both external and internal to the body.
Sneak peek at the Slow Wine Guide USA 2021 print edition
Slow Wine debuts its first stand-alone guide which has been expanded to cover the wineries and wines from the United States’ major wine growing regions of California, Oregon and Washington and New York states.